The Benefits of Qigong Practice

Youthfulness

People have frequently tried to guess my age and got it wrong. Many of them think that I am five, seven, even ten years younger than I am. This makes me feel very pleased (who doesn't want others to think they are younger than they actually are?). It's all a result of my daily Qigong practice.

First, Qigong makes my body strong and healthy. I have more energy for everyday life, -because Qigong follows the natural way to strengthen the internal body. Based on Chinese medicine, Yin and Yang, the acupuncture points and channels, and concentrating on the breathing, mind and movement, Qigong brings the body back to normal, working with nature to follow the universal rhythm.

After a couple of months' practice your body will change noticeably and you will become stronger and healthier. When you are healthy your face will change. Your expression will contain more energy and your eyes will show more spirit, and so you will look younger. The condition of your skin improves as more natural oils are produced to nourish it. Even without creams and cosmetics your face will have a better colour and become smoother and softer.

Return to a healthy size and shape

Not only will you look younger, but your whole body will go back to normal. For example, if you are naturally thin and have become overweight, you will become thin again. If you are naturally big you will become big again. But you will still be healthy. It all depends on what size you inherited from your parents. If you are thin and suddenly become fat, that means you are not natural, not balanced, and so you will be ill. The same will happen if you are naturally fat and try to make yourself thin. A big tree is big and a small tree is small! Everything has its own rhythm, its own way.

After many years practising Qigong my size is the same as it was when I was a young adult -not too fat and not too thin. Within Qigong practice there are many movements that exercise the joints and the waist. They help the circulation through the body and any excess fat is released. So do not worry -you won't become too fat!

In some thin people, the internal organs may be weak and not functioning as well as they should. For example, a small chest means small lungs and heart, and if people have small hips it means their kidneys are weak. Through Qigong you can make these parts strong and they will become their correct size.

Improved posture and attitude

Because Qigong trains your body, skeleton and breathing, it automatically corrects your posture: your back will be straight, chest up, shoulders relaxed and waist flexible. With correct posture you will look taller and stronger.

Some very tall people adopt a stooping posture which makes them tired and weak. They lack confidence, so they look smaller. In contrast, someone who is small but has a healthy posture, the right skeleton and the correct balance between body and limbs looks taller and more confident. A healthy body means that the internal organs are healthy.

You will not become bad-tempered, angry, over-excited or depressed all these emotions are affected by your internal balance. A good, healthy body brings a good attitude, while a bad, unhealthy body brings a bad attitude. The mind and body are undeniably connected.

Problem-solving via meditation

Meditation can help you to solve your problems. You may find, for instance, that when you are at work and need to make a difficult decision you just do not know what to do. Meditation can help you find the best answer, because it enables you to cast off all the stress and pressure of the situation so that your mind has more room to move and you can see the problem more clearly. We often panic, especially if we have lost something, and because we are too close to' the question we cannot see the answer. Stay away and forget it; then the solution will come naturally.

More energy, less stress

When your body becomes healthy, you will find you have more energy and do not tire so easily. You become aware of your body's condition and of when you are pushing yourself too hard. So you never suffer from work-related stress because you know when you are overexerting yourself. When you lose the ability to judge your body's condition, you can easily become ill or suffer from chronic conditions like ME, heart disease and even cancer. When the body is exhausted it loses its ability to release the negative and gather the positive Qi.

A positive approach to life

Through practising Qigong you do not just become physically healthy, but your mind and your emotions also become more stable. The Chinese say, 'Anything that happens on the inside shows on the outside.' We cannot hide ourselves by acting healthy and positive, because our real condition will always reveal itself. So the best thing to do is improve your health and achieve balance with nature. I have seen many people who were ill and depressed, but then started doing Qigong and changed dramatically. Day by day they became more confident, more positive, more sociable and better equipped to deal with life's changes and situations. So no matter how clever, how well educated or even wealthy you are, remember that you need a healthy body to carry your talents and your character.

Greater opportunities

When you look healthy and positive, people are naturally attracted to you and like being close to you. With more people around you, you find that you have more opportunities both at work and socially. Many people feel that they endure a lot of bad luck, but it is actually their health that is affecting their lives. Being unhealthy affects your emotions and your balance, which makes you appear negative and so others naturally avoid you. Just your appearance can change the way people treat you. Don't miss out on the opportunities that healthy people get: it is your health that brings you luck.

Better brainpower, better judgement

Qigong optimises the functioning power of the brain, improving your memory and attention to detail. You will find that you are better able to cope with difficult subjects or skills that previously were a real struggle.

When you practise Qigong you will become much more calm and relaxed, and when you are 'open' in this way you are in a far better position to judge whether a situation or person is good or bad for you. For example, when you first meet someone, you will immediately be able to tell whether to trust him or not. You are not so easily impressed by the way he talks or the way he dresses and so you are able to sense his character -his heart. When you come to a new place, you can tell whether it is good for you -a good place to work or a good place to stay; you could even sense danger before it happens.

We humans still have something in common with animals -we can sense our environment and imminent problems. Qigong brings us back to nature, enabling us to stay away from what is artificial and letting the natural senses return.

Healing specific ailments

As I have already mentioned, Qigong can be used not just for improving health but also for self-healing. The chart opposite will help you to pinpoint the exercises that are especially good for some common everyday ailments. If you wish to work with a particular condition, you should concentrate on the exercises recommended for its treatment. For more serious complaints, it is best to seek advice from your therapist as different exercises will be recommended for different individuals.

Qigong for Self-Healing

AILMENT

EXERCISE

AILMENT

EXERCISE

Arthritis

Asthma

Backache

Bad circulation

Co-ordination

Constipation

Convalescence

Depression

Fatigue

Headache

Big Bear Stretches Insomnia

Taiji Start

Marching While Bouncing the Ball

Roc Extends its Wings Opening the Chest Pushing the Wave

Kidney problem

Beautiful Woman Turns Her Waist Rowing the Boat in the Middle of the Lake Rotating the Wheel in a Circle

Cloud Steps Separating the Clouds Flying Pigeon

Neck problems

Looking at the Sky, Touching the Sea

Rolling the Arms

Cloud Hands in Horse Stance

Marching While Bouncing the Ball

Nervous disorders

Holding the Dantien The Dantien: Up and Down Opening and Closing the Dantien Punching

Flying Wild Goose Holding the Dantien The Dantien: Up and Down Opening and Closing the Dantien Taiji Start

Separating the Clouds

Big Bear Stretches Supporting the Sky Opening the Chest

Cloud Steps Flying Wild Goose Pushing the Wave

Cloud Steps Rainbow Dance Rolling the Arms

Looking at the Sky, Touching the Sea

Slimming

Stomachache

Holding the Dantien The Dantien: Up and Down Opening and Closing the Dantien Cloud Steps

Cloud Hands in Horse Stance Marching While Bouncing the Ball

Beautiful Woman Turns Her Waist Rowing the Boat in the Middle of the Lake Turning the Body to Look at the Moon Turning Waist to Pushing Palm Rotating the Wheel in a Circle

Turning the Head and Twisting the Tail

Peeping Monkey

Monkey Walk

Rolling the Arms

Lifting Up the Ball

Turning the Head and Twisting the Tail Cloud Steps Lifting Up the Ball

Cloud Steps Opening the Chest

Rowing the Boat in the Middle of the Lake

Roc Extends its Wings Lifting Up the Ball Turning the Body to Look at the Punching

Rotating the Wheel in a Circle

Beautiful Woman Turns Her Waist

Rainbow Dance

Separating the Clouds

Rowing the Boat in the Middle of Lake

Here are a couple of quick and easy remedies for two common complaints -backache and depression. Try them!

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